Prescription Pill Abuse — Still More Pharmacy Robberies and Dirty Doctors
Sometimes an issue’s impact doesn’t hit people until it lands in their back yard. I’m not one of those people. Like many in the addiction and recovery field, I get the big issues, especially when it comes to abuse. But now that a drug store around the corner from me has been robbed by someone wanting drugs, pharmacy robberies ARE in my back yard.
It’s one thing to see the aftermath of a robbery on the news, when the camera focuses on the front of the pharmacy. It’s another to read “Middletown drugstore robbed of oxycodone by armed man” and realize you’ve been in that pharmacy.
The DEA reports that these armed robberies increased 81% from 2006 to 2010, and if current news reports are any indication, they seem to have increased even more in 2011 and so far in 2012. No pharmacy is safe. The industry publication Pharmacy Times advised hiring armed guards, or at least removing ads from front windows so police had a clear view of any danger inside.
Recently Joan posted about doctors who add to the prescription abuse problem by knowingly overprescribing pain pills to addicts: Doctors Who Fuel Addiction and Relapse. The robbery near my house came shortly after I saw the result of an accident on a New York state highway caused by a driver who was high on pain pills. A family died in the crash. A doctor had recently prescribed hundreds of pills for the driver. At the end of the news segment, another doctor was asked about this supposed professional, and his answer was telling. “He’s not a doctor, he’s a drug dealer,” he said.
And there’s an update on pill mills, which I posted about a year ago, that is not good news. You may remember that Florida authorities were shutting them down right and left. It seems many of the undesirables that start these storefront operations are simply moving to Georgia. “The people come completely out of left field without any pharmacy background and open a pharmacy in a sleazy strip mall right down the street from a pain clinic,” [the director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency] said. “You do a cursory background on them, and they’re living in a doublewide in Pembroke Pines, Fla.”
The USA Today article points out that drug dealers adapt. It seems safe to say that people who work in drug enforcement will never be out of a job.